TfL to start safety improvements on Battersea Bridge following residents’ petition

Plans to improve pedestrian safety at Battersea Bridge have been brought forward, Transport for London announced today.

Public consultations on a proposed new pedestrian crossing at the north side of the bridge are due to begin in the coming weeks, with construction planned to start later in the year.

TfL’s announcement comes weeks after a funded scheme was created to tackle safety issues at the bridge, and just over a month after the death of jogger Jack Ryan, 29, who was hit by a car as he tried to cross the bridge on 13th January.

A petition, set up by writer and journalist Rob McGibbon, 55, in the wake of Mr Ryan’s death called on TfL to urgently address safety concerns at the notoriously dangerous junction.

In plans outlined by TfL, a signalised pedestrian crossing will be installed at the bridge, alongside a reduction in the speed limit on Chelsea Embankment later this year from 30mph to 20mph, improving safety for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Picture of the site of the fatal collision on Battersea Bridge, showing flowers around a lamppost and a police sign calling for witnesses to the accident.
GOT THE GREEN LIGHT: The site of the new proposed crossing on Battersea Bridge.
Credit Lisa Haseldine

Chelsea resident McGibbon, whose petition reached over 25,000 signatures, said: “I am delighted that Transport for London has finally decided to make Battersea Bridge safe by installing a pedestrian crossing. 

“Safety has been a major worry here for countless years. 

“Residents, successive MPs and local politicians have failed to get any action out of TFL in all that time, but this determination to bring change has come about in less than five weeks. 

“This has only happened because of People Power.”

Councillor for Kensington and Chelsea Johnny Thalassites echoed McGibbon’s praise for those who signed the petition.

He said: “We have backed our residents every step of the way in their campaign and thanks to local voices we are now seeing faster progress from TfL on this dangerous junction.

“Sadly it comes after a tragic accident where someone lost their life and our thoughts remain with Jack and his family.”

Public pressure for TfL to reform the Battersea Bridge/Cheyne Walk/Beaufort Street junction has been growing for over a decade due to the high number of accidents which occur at the junction.

Between 1st April and 31st October 2020 alone, ten accidents were reported there.

TfL’s Head of Healthy Streets Delivery Penny Rees said: “We have worked closely with the Royal Borough of Kensington Chelsea to bring forward our proposals to reduce danger at this busy junction as quickly as possible, and believe our proposed changes will make a real difference to pedestrian safety.”

Improvements to the junction at Battersea Bridge align with TfL’s broader plans to address dangerous junctions across London and to reduce speed limits within the congestion zone. 

Walking and Cycling Commissioner for London Will Norman added: “These changes will make a real difference to those walking and cycling on the bridge and form a key part of our Vision Zero ambition to eliminate death and serious injury on the road.”

Featured image: Battersea Bridge. Credit Lisa Haseldine

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